Evaluation of applications submitted to the BSF is based solely on merit. Decisions in grant programs are taken by scientific panels, and are based solely on the scientific quality of the application, and when relevant, on the expected level of cooperation between the PIs. Scientific panels usually include US scientists as well.
Considerations such as country of origin of the proposal, where the money will be spent, seniority of the scientists, etc., carry no weight in these deliberations.
The BSF seeks to be as fair and as transparent as possible in its evaluation proves, though this is not always apparent to the applicant since the names of the participants in the process are kept confidential.
Finally, every year we receive complaints from applicants who were turned down, even though the external reviews they received were very good. The frustration of these individuals is understandable and expected, and many of us who participate in the process are also upset with such an outcome. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable since the level of the applications we receive is so high that many of the ones that deserve funding end up being rejected. In the words of one of our American advisors in physics "all the proposals that I handled deserve a grant". The BSF Board has resolved to preserve a high success rate (at the expense of grant size) in order to, at least partially, alleviate this problem; but it still exists and is unavoidable.